Date has been moved to June 9 due to City of Buffalo-imposed curfew
Fifty medical residents from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo will cap off their professional education June 9 with an unconventional, vehicle-based graduation ceremony at the Transit Drive-in Theatre in Lockport.
The ceremony was originally scheduled for June 3. However, the date was changed due to the curfew imposed by the City of Buffalo.
The ceremony is being organized by Regina Makdissi, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Jacobs School and director of the UB internal medicine residency program. Makdissi said she had always enjoyed trips to the drive-in, and thought it would be an ideal location for a socially distant event.
“This is, for many, the final step after many years of school and training before they go out to the world to start practicing on their own,” Makdissi said. “Especially this year with the pandemic, our residents in internal medicine were among the heroes on the frontlines caring for patients and families on the inpatient and intensive care units and in outpatient clinics.
“They have proven to be incredible physicians and human beings, and this was a fun way to celebrate their accomplishments and express our gratitude for their sacrifices and dedication to their profession and their community.”
Attendance at the ceremony will be limited to 300 participants and guests in 150 vehicles, which will allow for the prescribed 10 feet of space between cars at the drive-in.
Each year, the residency program purchases a Buffalo-themed gift for graduating residents. This year, residents will be given Buffalo Strong T-shirts. FeedMore WNY will receive $7 for each shirt presented.
Instead of mortarboards, the graduates will toss medical masks into the air at the end of the ceremony.
A drone will capture some images of the celebration. After the ceremony, the residents have chosen to watch the Robin Williams movie “Patch Adams.”
“I couldn’t be any prouder of them as their program director and mentor,” Makdissi said. “All the faculty in the department are so happy to join the festivities and share their pride.”